Record haul of contraband cigarettes in Bulgaria

Customs officers in Sofia seized a consignment of contraband cigarettes of a record value of seven million leva (about 3.5 million euro), Customs Agency chief Vanyo Tanev told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television on November 13 2012.

He said that a consignment of this size represented a loss to the state of about four million leva in excise revenue.

Tanev said that he could not say who was behind the smuggling.

Such confiscations were difficult because traders relied on “a certain type of protection” and could not be surprised.

Tanev said that he could not say if there was a “political umbrella” over the smuggling of cigarettes in Bulgaria, because the Customs Agency lacked the operational capacity to investigate such allegations.

(Photo: amr safey/




The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.